What to do when your child loses a friend?

I just found out that one of Jacob’s friends drowned last night at the lake… I dont know how to tell my 5 year old that he will never see his friend again. I feel so horrible for the parents. He was an only child and they can not have anymore kids. :frowning:


That’s awful.

I really don’t know how you would broach that one.

I don’t know if it helps, but I found this relating to the subject -

Children up to about 5 or 6 years old…

…view their world very literally, therefore it’s a good idea to explain death in basic terms. For example, if the person was ill or elderly you might explain that the person’s body wasn’t working anymore and the doctors couldn’t fix it. You may have to explain that “dying” or “dead” means that the body stopped working.

Children this young often have a hard time understanding that it’s final and that person isn’t coming back. So even after you’ve gone through this explanation, your child may continue to ask where the person is or when the person is returning. However frustrating this is, try to remain calm and keep repeating in concrete terms that they will not be coming back.

It is tempting to use euphemisms, like telling your child that the person who died just “went away” or “went to sleep” or even that your family “lost” the person. This can be more confusing because young kids think so literally this may make your child frightened to go to sleep in case someone gets “lost” or “goes away”.

Try also to remember that a young child’s questions may sound deeper than they are. A 5-year-old asking where the dead person is, probably isn’t asking whether there’s an after-life. The child will be probably be happy with an answer that the person who died is now in the cemetery. Depending on the character of the child, you can decide whether you share your beliefs at this stage

:frowning: So sad. :frowning:

What a delicate situation. I suggest being up front and honest with your son. He needs to be told the truth about the situation. Also, there’s a valuable lesson to be learned in all of this. Water is to be respected… it can take our lives if we’re not completely careful around it.

wow that is awful V. Make sure you and Zach sit down with him and talk to him before school tomorrow so if he has questions he can ask you and not get stuff from other kids that may be messed up. And for heaven sake dont let Joe do it!!!

That is so sad. I’m sorry I don’t know what to say, but I hope everyone dealing with the death is ok. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those effected.

That’s sad V, Tyler’s advice looks promising, i can’t offer anything unfortunately.

He actually has spring break right now… So he wont be back until next week…

wow…this is very tragic V hugs

[quote=“GoldDust Woman, post: 1085832”]:frowning: So sad. :frowning:

What a delicate situation. I suggest being up front and honest with your son. He needs to be told the truth about the situation. Also, there’s a valuable lesson to be learned in all of this. Water is to be respected… it can take our lives if we’re not completely careful around it.[/quote]
:homo:…one thing i learned while dealing with children of that age, is not to make a big deal of it. To them time is nothing so i know this sounds a bit harsh but to treat it as such in away is also good, that way they learn to move on quickly from things that could be potentially sad. TD’s post is a good way of going about that…just tell the story and your child will go on your own reactions to it. If you make it out to be something then that is what you’ll have on your hands. Best thing is the truth. Water is dangerous so this si certainly a good lesson for it, but don’t frighten them out of ever wanting to swim:nod:…If your child has experianced a death before such as a pet goldfish, that is how you might relate it to the child. :nod: HUgs V…this is such a sad case:(

Oh wow. I don’t know what to say. The kid’s poor parents though. :frowning: wow. That’s just awful.

I agree with what others have said. Try to not make it a big thing and be very up front about it.

How tragic!
I have no advice though.

That breaks my heart :frowning: I could NOT imagine going thru that. But like Audra said, I would definately do it before his daddy has a chance to talk to him about it.

That is so difficult. Use concrete terms.

just an idea v…and it worked for my nephew jacob when my dad died…when you have him sort of understanding,pick a bright star in the sky and tell him its his friend watching over him

Wow that is really awful.
My advice would be just to be honest with him, kids can tell if your lying and can handle more than we expect.
My boyf Dad died last year and we had to tell our 2 boys that their Grandad was gone. My youngest who was only 3 and a half didnt really understand but he does bring it up at times even now nearly 1 year later he will tell us his Grandad is dead! Just be prepared for questions later on.

tragic. :frowning:

Keep it simple, like TD said. You would be amazed at the resiliency of children. They actually handle things much better than adults, I think.

They don’t suffer from the complexities of self centeredness as much as adults do. He’ll move on eventually, and be just fine.

For an example.

My grandfather, a wonderful man. Used to come over to the house when I was working lots of hours and out of town a lot, anfd hang out with my wife and kids. Just to keep her company.

My kids were really fond of him. He passed last year, and it just tore my oldest son apart. But we let him process his feelings, be sad and he realized that all he had was good memories of his great grandfather, and he also realized on his own, how fortunate he was to have that time. He realized that not a lot of kids had met their great grandfathers.

Children have an overwhelming perception for the age they are. You just have to not push them, or overly protect them. Let them feel.

Shit thats awful news V :frowning:

Im with Ian on this one though, my eldest was 3 when his nan on his dads side passed away and it was the hardest thing to have to tell him what happened, my ex and i tip toed around it for a few days and he came to us and said
“i know that nannie is not alive anymore but she is always going to be in my heart and in the sky at night time watching over me to make sure im ok”
My neice who is 6 years older than him told him that and it was the best way for him to be able to deal with it.
Im sorry your boy has to go through this V its awful

OMG… the mind reels at what the parents are going through…

I think TD nailed it, keep it very simple and literal. I think all of this “He went up to Heaven” stuff just adds a needless level of confusion.

Good luck beautiful… hug